Artie Shaw Dies At Age 94


Artie Shaw, swing era bandleader and clarinetist, died Thursday at the age of 94, according to the orchestra's manager.

At his peak in the 1930s and '40s, Shaw pulled in a five-figure salary per week and ranked with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller as the bandleaders who made music swing. But he left the music world largely behind in the mid-'50s and spent much of the second half of his life devoted to writing and other pursuits.

His band's recording of Cole Porter's Begin the Beguine was intended to be the "B" side of the record. Instead, it became a huge hit, topping the charts for six weeks in 1938 and making Shaw famous at age 28.

He worked with such jazz legends as Buddy Rich, Mel Torme, Gordon Jenkins and, at a time when most white bandleaders refused to hire blacks, Billie Holiday.

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